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Fantastic Four: Life Story #1-6, graphic novel series for the Marvel Universe from Marvel Comics (2021-2022) - Graphic novel review by KadmonFantastic Four: Life Story #1-6, graphic novel series for the Marvel Universe from Marvel Comics (2021-2022)
image © Marvel (Disney)

The Fantastic Four: Life Story (2021-2022) is a sci-fi / fantasy graphic novel series. The graphic novel series was reviewed by Kadmon.

Product: Fantastic Four: Life Story #1-6, graphic novel series for the Marvel Universe from Marvel Comics (2021-2022)

Original title: Fantastic Four: Life Story #1-6

Publisher: Marvel Comics company (2021-2022)

Series: Fantastic Four series

Other adaptations of the story: Fantastic Four #1-50, graphic novel series (1961-1966)

Other adaptations of the story of Galactus: Fantastic Four #15, TV series (1967), Marvels #3, graphic novel series (1994), Fantastic Four #5-6, TV series (1994), Ultimate Galactus Trilogy, graphic novel series (2004-2006), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, movie (2007)

Setting: contemporary fantasy Earth (Marvel Universe)

Product type: Graphic novel, Genre: sci-fi / fantasy, Features: futuristic, science fiction, fantasy, contemporary fantasy, action, aliens

Release: 2021.05.19-2022.02.02

Reviewer: Kadmon, Type: Male, 40s, Preferences: Immersive, logical story, consistent setting, prefers surprises to spoilers, prefers establishing elements before referencing them

Read: very recent (2023.01), first time

Rating: Good (2+ out of 3 points), Enjoyment: Good (2+ out of 3 points)

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This is my review of Fantastic Four: Life Story, a sci-fi / fantasy graphic novel series for the Marvel Universe from 2021-2022. It's about scientists trying to prevent a catastrophe they've foreshadowed. The Fantastic Four: Life Story comic book is interesting, I recommend it to fans of the Marvel Universe.

Fantastic Four: Life Story #1-6, graphic novel series for the Marvel Universe from Marvel Comics (2021-2022) - Graphic novel review by KadmonFantastic Four: Life Story #1-6, graphic novel series for the Marvel Universe from Marvel Comics (2021-2022)
image © Marvel (Disney)

"In the tradition of SPIDER-MAN: LIFE STORY, and in celebration of the FF’s 60th Anniversary, comes this series setting the lives of the fabulous foursome in real time across the years! Amid the backdrop of the Cold War and the Space Race, a terrible accident gives the Fantastic Four great powers, a terrible secret, and entangles them in the history of their planet."

"An incredible exploration of the fabulous foursome's lives if they aged in real time across the decades! Amid the backdrop of the Space Race, an accident gives the Fantastic Four great powers and entangles them in the history of their planet. But as the years pass, the four heroes struggle to find their role in a rapidly changing world. As Sue continues to fight for social causes, Reed becomes increasingly obsessed with preparing for the prophesied arrival of Galactus! And in the end, after six decades of triumphs and tragedies, love and loss, can the aging heroes make a final stand against the implacable might of Doctor Doom?"

Review (spoiler-free) - Fantastic Four: Life Story, graphic novel series (2021-2022)

I didn't know anything about the Life Story series, when I've found the first Fantastic Four: Life Story issue. As I've recently read the latest incarnation of the Fantastic Four series, I thought I'd give this a try, especially as I don't usually read FF stories, giving me a chance to getting to know them better.

The Fantastic Four: Life Story graphic novel series is about scientists trying to prevent a catastrophe they've foreshadowed.

The story (by Mark Russel) is good and consistent. There are some character arcs. If you accept the premise, there are no major logical problems.

The graphics are fine, although I wouldn't say the scenes are visually interesting. The characters are recognisable. The action scenes are easy to follow.

The main characters are well developed, we get plenty of information about their life, although we don't get to know their past. The side characters and the antagonists don't get as much development. I feel that the writer wants to build on the previously published stories, hoping that the reader knows them well enough so they don't need here any introductions.

Fantastic Four: Life Story is an interesting sci-fi / fantasy series, I think fans of the Fantastic Four will enjoy it.

My experience

I was mostly satisfied with Fantastic Four: Life Story (2021-2022). I like it when they take some old stories and improve them, and Fantastic Four: Life Story did just that.

Rating: Good (2+ out of 3 points). Fantastic Four: Life Story is a well-made comic book.

Enjoyment: Good (2+ out of 3 points). Fantastic Four: Life Story is interesting, I liked it. Although I've felt that the individual issues were somewhat Average, but my overall experience was Good.

Rereadability: Average. I think it's mostly the surprise of the story that makes you feel interested, but if you liked it for the first time, you might enjoy reading it multiple times.

Chance of reading it again: Low. Now that I know the story, there's probably no need to read it again. There are some good ideas in it though, that I might need to reread later.

Chance of reading a sequel: High. I'd sure read it.

Fantastic Four: Life Story #1-6, graphic novel series for the Marvel Universe from Marvel Comics (2021-2022) - Graphic novel review by KadmonFantastic Four: Life Story #1-6, graphic novel series for the Marvel Universe from Marvel Comics (2021-2022)
image © Marvel (Disney)

Will you enjoy this?

If you like futuristic fantasy graphic novels, you might like Fantastic Four: Life Story.

If you like scientific research stories (Andromeda Strain), you might like Fantastic Four: Life Story, although the focus is not really on the research and investigation.

If you'd like to get comedic moments in your stories, Fantastic Four: Life Story will disappoint you, as it's mostly serious.

If you prefer visuals over story, there are plenty of good looking scenes in these issues.

Do you need to read the original comic book to enjoy this?

Although there's enough explanation that you'll understand what's going on without reading the first comic book, I also felt that plenty of the intended shocking moments worked better with previous knowledge of the original series. Without that knowledge, there are some scenes when you might not understand the dramatic undertones.

Reading for plot points

If you are interested in futuristic fantasy stories, I think it's worth reading the Fantastic Four: Life Story graphic novel series for the plot points.

Should you read the issues individually?

Although the story is told in a continuous narrative, the individual issues usually have a smaller arc that could be enjoyed independently, at least, if you already know the basic story of the Fantastic Four.

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Fantastic Four: Life Story #1-6, graphic novel series for the Marvel Universe from Marvel Comics (2021-2022) - Graphic novel review by KadmonFantastic Four: Life Story #1-6, graphic novel series for the Marvel Universe from Marvel Comics (2021-2022)
image © Marvel (Disney)

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Review with spoilers - Fantastic Four: Life Story, graphic novel series (2021-2022)

I liked the Fantastic Four: Life Story graphic novel series.

Unlike the regular 616 stories, Life Story features the events as happening in real time. By the end of the series, the protagonists get old.

In order to properly enjoy this series, you need to know the story of the originals this series is based on. Some of the twists only work if you already know how things happened in the originals - in this regard, Fantastic Four: Life Story is somewhat similar to Star Trek Into Darkness (2013).

We get to see some of the Golden Age heroes in retirement - just like in Spider-Man: Reign (2006-2007) -, but here they make a comeback to have a final fight helping the new generation.

Based on the premise, I thought this series will give us a summary of the events in the life of the Fantastic Four, but instead of that, we basically got a six-issue long version of the Galactus Trilogy, plus an epilogue about Doctor Doom. I probably would have preferred the former somewhat more, as my whole point of reading this was to get to know the Fantastic Four better. In this respect, Marvels (1994) did a better job.

Covers

The covers of the graphic novel are okay, they don't say much, but they don't spoil the story.

Promise of the first scene

The USA government is desperate to get humans into space to win the "space race" over the Soviet Union. They hire Reed Richards to build a rocket. I assume he'll build it, and as I know their origin story, I assume they'll get turned into the Fantastic Four by some cosmic rays, and then they'll do science / hero stuff.

Execution: Although the beginning was really something like that, the whole story focused on the threat of Galactus, and then a smaller threat of Doctor Doom. While both of these dangers were caused by Reed - Galactus was lured to the Earth by the presence of Reed, while Doctor Doom got his powered armour with the help of Reed -, the story didn't really dwell on that part.

* * *

Fantastic Four: Life Story #1-6, graphic novel series for the Marvel Universe from Marvel Comics (2021-2022) - Graphic novel review by KadmonFantastic Four: Life Story #1-6, graphic novel series for the Marvel Universe from Marvel Comics (2021-2022)
image © Marvel (Disney)

Issue #1: The '60s

The issue is a good start for the series, it establishes the main conflict and the personalities of the protagonists.

The issue ends with a partial conclusion, as they watch American astronauts land on the Moon.

Release: 2021.05.19

The cover: The cover is acceptable, but not very interesting.

Rating: Average (2 out of 3 points), Enjoyment: Average (2 out of 3 points)

Promise of the first scene

The USA government is desperate to get humans into space to win the "space race" over the Soviet Union. They hire Reed Richards to build a rocket. I assume he'll build it, and as I know their origin story, I assume they'll get turned into the Fantastic Four by some cosmic rays. 

Execution: Indeed, they were turned into the Fantastic Four, but that already happened halfway through the story. Then we get introduced to Galactus, then the internal problems of the Fantastic Four team. So, I got more than I've expected, and that's good.

Fantastic Four: Life Story #1-6, graphic novel series for the Marvel Universe from Marvel Comics (2021-2022) - Graphic novel review by KadmonFantastic Four: Life Story #1-6, graphic novel series for the Marvel Universe from Marvel Comics (2021-2022)
image © Marvel (Disney)

Issue #2: The '70s

The story goes forward, there are even some twists.

The issue ends with a cliffhanger / shocker/ reveal, as some extraterrestrial signal was picked up as approaching the Earth.

Release: 2021.06.23

The cover: The cover is acceptable, but not very interesting.

Rating: Average (2 out of 3 points), Enjoyment: Average (2 out of 3 points)

Promise of the first scene

Reed makes a speech about the end of the world by Galactus. I assume we'll see him trying to prepare the world for the arrival of Galactus. Otherwise I have no idea what else will we get.

Execution: Beyond those preparations, we also got to see the origin of Doctor Doom, his betrayal of Reed, and his attack on the superhero community.

Fantastic Four: Life Story #1-6, graphic novel series for the Marvel Universe from Marvel Comics (2021-2022) - Graphic novel review by KadmonFantastic Four: Life Story #1-6, graphic novel series for the Marvel Universe from Marvel Comics (2021-2022)
image © Marvel (Disney)

Issue #3: The '80s

The story goes forward, there are even plenty of twists. The shocker from the last issue is not mentioned in this story.

The issue ends with a partial conclusion, as they bury Johnny Storm, after stopping the nuclear apocalypse.

Release: 2021.08.11

The cover: The cover is acceptable, but not very interesting. It contains a minor spoiler (the Soviet rockets).

Rating: Average (2 out of 3 points), Enjoyment: Average (2 out of 3 points)

Promise of the first scene

The USA government is desperate to get defensive space system to win a "star wars" over the Soviet Union. They hire Reed Richards to build the system. I assume he'll build it to be used against Galactus. Based on the previous issues, I assume there will be also some side stories.

Execution: The first twist is that in the end they hire the Mad Thinker to make the defensive system (with predictable results). There are also plenty of twists, but I'm still okay with the promise, it was a good start.

Fantastic Four: Life Story #1-6, graphic novel series for the Marvel Universe from Marvel Comics (2021-2022) - Graphic novel review by KadmonFantastic Four: Life Story #1-6, graphic novel series for the Marvel Universe from Marvel Comics (2021-2022)
image © Marvel (Disney)

Issue #4: The '90s

The story goes forward, although it's a bit slower than previous issues. There are some twists.

The issue ends with a shocker/ reveal, that Galactus is coming, and the people of the Earth can't do anything against him.

Release: 2021.09.15

The cover: The cover is acceptable, but not very interesting. It contains a major spoiler - the presence of the Silver Surfer.

Rating: Average (2 out of 3 points), Enjoyment: Average (2 out of 3 points)

Promise of the first scene

With the breaking up of the Soviet Union, the heroes finally got to make the world a better place. Reed was finally able to build the defense system around the Earth. I wouldn't have a clue where will they take the story, had I not seen the Silver Surfer on the cover. So I assume he'll arrive to herald the coming of Galactus, and the big bad will arrive some time later.

Execution: It took some time, but finally the Silver Surfer really arrived. I'm still content with the promise.

Fantastic Four: Life Story #1-6, graphic novel series for the Marvel Universe from Marvel Comics (2021-2022) - Graphic novel review by KadmonFantastic Four: Life Story #1-6, graphic novel series for the Marvel Universe from Marvel Comics (2021-2022)
image © Marvel (Disney)

Issue #5: The '00s

The story goes forward, leading to a final confrontation.

The issue ends with a conclusion, as they've defeated Galactus, but Reed lost his intellect in the process.

Release: 2021.12.08

The cover: The cover is slightly interesting. Although it contains a major spoiler - Galactus -, at this point of the story I think it's time he finally arrives.

Rating: Average (2 out of 3 points), Enjoyment: Average (2 out of 3 points)

Promise of the first scene

The people of Earth gave up, but Reed is desperately trying to find some way to defeat Galactus. He is offered a chance to save the Earth if he volunteers to become the herald of Galactus, finding planets with intelligent life for Galactus to eat. That's a good start, and I have no clue how will he choose.

Execution: It was a clever solution to finish the story like this, I'm okay with the promise.

Fantastic Four: Life Story #1-6, graphic novel series for the Marvel Universe from Marvel Comics (2021-2022) - Graphic novel review by KadmonFantastic Four: Life Story #1-6, graphic novel series for the Marvel Universe from Marvel Comics (2021-2022)
image © Marvel (Disney)

Issue #6: The '10s

Although the previous issue could have been a good conclusion, the story still goes forward. I felt this issue less interesting than the previous ones, even though there was a lot more action than in either of the previous issues.

The issue ends with a conclusion, as Sue stands by the disabled Reed.

Release: 2022.02.02

The cover: The cover is acceptable, but not very interesting. It contains a major spoiler - the map of Latveria -, hinting that the issue with deal with Doctor Doom.

Rating: Average (2 out of 3 points), Enjoyment: Weak (2- out of 3 points)

Promise of the first scene

We see Doctor Doom conquering parts of the world without opposition. Reed is still unreachable, no matter what they try. I assume the rest of the team will find some way to deal with Doctor Doom, or at least contain him somehow.

Execution: They did, so I'm totally okay with the promise.

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Fantastic Four: Life Story #1-6, graphic novel series for the Marvel Universe from Marvel Comics (2021-2022) - Graphic novel review by KadmonFantastic Four: Life Story #1-6, graphic novel series for the Marvel Universe from Marvel Comics (2021-2022)
image © Marvel (Disney)

Plot summary / Synopsis

1960s: Reed Richards is tasked by the USA government with the creation of a spaceship that allows them space superiority above the Soviet Union. He creates one with the help of Susan Storm. When the goverment decides to stop funding the project, they decide to make a test flight without permission. Johnny Storm, the brother of Susan, convinces them to take him to the flight. He also knows a pilot, Ben Grimm, they also take. They manage to take off, but in space, they run into cosmic radiation that changes their physiology. Reed is able to stretch his body. Susan is able to turn invisible and create force fields. Johnny is able to turn into flames and can fly. Ben turns into a rock monster and gains superhuman strength. In space, Reed was able to connect to an alien mind, Galactus, and feels that he is a threat to humanity. He starts working on something to defend against Galactus. Reed and Susan marry, and they have a child, Franklin, later revealed to have psionic powers.

1970s: The Mad Thinker tries to capture the Fantastic Four, but they defeat him, only to reveal that they were attacked by a robot, created by the Mad Thinker. Reed meets with Victor von Doom, and they start working together to create a defence against Galactus. Reed help Doom building a power suit. When the suit is finished, Doom reveals that he intends to unite the world by conquering it, and leaves to conquer the world. The Fantastic Four stops Doom. Susan has enough, and leaves Reed for Namor.

1980s: The US government wants Reed to build space defences, but not against Galactus, but against the Russians. Reed angrily leaves, so they give the task to the another scientist, who is actually the Mad Thinker in disguise. He demands the assistance of Doom so they can work together. The Mad Thinker builds a nuclear missile system that can destroy the world, as he comes to the realisation that if the Earth is barren and lifeless, than Galactus won't eat it. The Mad Thinker starts a nuclear war between the USA and the Soviet Union. The super-heroes stop the missiles from hitting populated targets, but Johnny Storm dies in an explosion. Doom imprisons the Mad Thinker to work for him.

1990s: As the Soviet Union collapsed, the super-heroes are able to turn their efforts to make the world a better place. Reed creates a defence system around the Earth. Ben gets together with Alicia Masters. Franklin marries Zawandi. The Silver Surfer arrives and destroys the defences Reed built, considering them pathetic. The Silver Surfer goes to the United Nations, and declares that in ten years, Galactus will arrive to devour the planet with its inhabitants.

2000s: Reed is desperately working on some way to defeat Galactus. The Silver Surfer interrupts his work, and tells him that Galactus is looking for a new herald to find planets for him to devour, as the Silver Surfer is dying. Galactus will spare the life on Earth if Reed volunteers to become his herald, as through their connection Galactus felt he is the right person. Reed refuses. T'Challa gives Franklin a Vibranium headband that allows him a better control of his psionic powers. Doom makes an offer to the Silver Surfer that if Galactus spares Earth, and gives it to him, he'll arrange a breeding program that allows Galactus to eat half a billion humans every year. When Galactus arrives, Reed seemingly volunteers to become his new herald. Galactus removes the cosmic power from the Silver Surfer, killing him. When Reed's spaceship arrives, it turns out that it's actually Franklin, while Reed is in a special chamber, and their connected mind powers allow them to defeat Galactus. The strain of this leaves Reed in a vegetative state.

2010s: As the threat of Galactus is gone, Doom starts to conquer the world. A group of new heroes try to stop him, but they are not enough. Susan requests the help of old heroes, who join the fight, allowing them to fight Doom efficiently. The Mad Thinker escapes in the chaos, and reveals how to switch off the robot army of Doom, but for that, they'll need to access his old robot that Reed captured during their battle. They are able to reach Reed long enough that he can help them. The robot army is switched off, and Doom is defeated.

The setting

Alternate fantasy Earth (the Marvel Universe), from 1961 to 2018.

There are people with superhuman powers. There are aliens.

Changes to the the regular Fantastic Four story

Their mission was the fourth experiment, that's why they had the 4 on their uniforms.

Reed designed flame resistant uniforms for the mission, that's why Johnny doesn't burn his suit.

Although they did launch the spaceship without authorisation, the spaceship was designed and built by Reed and Sue for the US government.

They get changed by cosmic rays, just like their 616 counterparts, but the changes already manifest while they are in their spaceship. Their ship doesn't crash land, it lands automatically.

Doctor Doom: He worked with Reed for a while. Reed helped Doctor Doom to build his metal suit.

The Mad Thinker: He made advanced computers, created artificial intelligence. His work was implemented in the Doombots of Doctor Doom, and the the robot made by Reed.

Galactus: When Reed contacted Galactus, he became aware of the Earth. He came here to offer Reed to become his herald, to look for planets to eat. The size of Galactus is hard to measure. I'd say he is 150-200 meters tall, based on the shots where humans are close to him.

Silver Surfer: He arrives ten years before Galactus, leaving the people of the Earth some time to prepare for their end.

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Fantastic Four: Life Story #1-6, graphic novel series for the Marvel Universe from Marvel Comics (2021-2022) - Graphic novel review by KadmonFantastic Four: Life Story #1-6, graphic novel series for the Marvel Universe from Marvel Comics (2021-2022)
image © Marvel (Disney)

Analysis of the story - Fantastic Four: Life Story, graphic novel series (2021-2022)

I mostly liked the story, I didn't find problems that would have prevented me from enjoying Fantastic Four: Life Story.

The message of the story

I'm not sure there's one.

The structure of the story

The scenes of the Fantastic Four: Life Story comic book are mostly played in sequence, following the same storyline.

There's no single viewpoint character. Even the narrator is changed from Reed to Franklin after a while.

The story has the usual arc of the dramatic structure - introduction, action, resolution, then ends with an aftermath. I'm not sure if the individual issues have this structure.

Fan-service

Scenes and elements from previous works:

  • Main characters: Ben Grimm / The Thing, Franklin Richards, Johnny Storm / Human Torch, Reed Richards / Mister Fantastic, Sue Storm / Invisible Woman
  • Characters featured: Alicia Masters, Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel, Doctor Doom, Galactus, Hank Pym, Ironheart, Harvey Elder / Mole Man, Janet Van Dyne / Wasp, Mad Thinker, Miles Morales / Spider-Man, Namor McKenzie, Norrin Radd / Silver Surfer, Peter Parker / Spider-Man, Ricardo Jones, Shuri / Black Panther, Steve Rogers / Captain America, T'Challa - Black Panther, Thor Odinson, Tony Stark / Iron Man, Ulysses Klaue
  • Characters mentioned: Ivan Kragoff / Red Ghost
  • Captain America punching Doctor Doom, like he punched Hitler in WW2.

Things I liked

  • The art was good.
  • The story was well-paced and engaging.
  • It was fun that old looking Reed had to reshape his face into a younger self.

Problematic elements

Reed Richards: In this depiction, he might be intelligent, but he is not very clever. I would have preferred sticking to the regular version of him. Here, he is narrow minded, and focuses mostly on the threat of Galactus.

Lack of reality: Even though the whole point of the Life Story series is to make the whole thing realistic, the writer steers away from the depiction of the impact of Reed's inventions on the world. In this regard, the Watchmen series from DC Comics, or the Fantastic Four: The End (2006-2007), where we see an advanced world, using the high technology created by the super-heroes.

Defeating Galactus: I find it hard to swallow that they just attack Galactus until he is knocked out (or even killed). I'm almost sure Galactus met other advanced civilisations who would have tried the same thing over and over, and - as Galactus is still around - didn't succeed.

Unanswered questions

  • Why didn't the US government send further astronauts to receive cosmic radiation treatment to create super soldiers? What stopped them?
  • What happened to Galactus after being defeated?
  • What happened to the body of the Silver Surfer?
  • What happened to Peter Parker / Spider-Man and Thor? Why didn't we see them at the final confrontation?
  • What happened to the Mad Thinker after they've stopped the Doombots?
  • What happened to Doctor Doom? Did he really kill himself?

* * *

Possibilities of improvement

Adding some more mentions of characters and events, or depicting them in the background would have been fun.

Editing the text so that Reed would appear more clever.

How it could have been better?

Introduce the main characters, tell us about their past.

Giving introductions to the side characters, and give them some proper personality.

Coming up with a better way to defeat Galactus.

* * *

How does it compare to the other works of the creators?

I don't remember reading any other works of the writer of #1-6 (Mark Russel). However, based on this one, I'm now interested in his works.

I haven't read any other graphic novels from the illustrator of #1-6 (Sean Izaakse).

I don't remember reading any other works from the illustrator of #4 (Francesco Manna).

From the illustrator of #5 (Carlos Magno), I've read Heroes Reborn #2 (2021), Fantastic Four: Reckoning War Alpha #1 (2022), and both of those were fine.

I haven't read any other graphic novels from the illustrator of #6 (Zé Carlos).

I don't remember reading any other works from the illustrator of #6 (Angel Unzueta), but I might have read some his Star Wars stories.

I don't remember reading any other graphic novels from the colourist of #1-6 (Nolan Woodard), but based on the sheer amount of his works, I've probably read some. The colouring in these issues is solid.

How does it compare to the original source?

There are plenty of differences from the original run of the comics.

The origins of the Fantastic Four

Reed and Ben were friends. In this story, it's Johnny who knows Ben and drags him along.

Reed built a spaceship to travel the solar system. In this story, he was contracted to make a spaceship for the US to show they have better technology than the Soviets.

When the cosmic radiation hits their spaceship, they crash land, and then begin to change. In this story, they immediately start to change when they get hit by cosmic rays, and the spaceship is built in a way that they land normally.

After they change, Reed develops uniforms for them made of unstable molecules. Here, they already start with their uniforms before their flight, that are flame resistant. Although the uniform of Reed stretches, and Sue can turn invisible even in her suit, there's no mention of unstable molecules.

The origins of Doctor Doom

Reed already knew Victor von Doom from the University. In this story, they just meet at a convention, and start working together.

Doom has supernatural powers in the original comics. In this story, he only has special abilities provided by the suit he'd built with the help of Reed.

The Galactus Trilogy

The Silver Surfer randomly finds the Earth. Here, Reed contacts the mind of Galactus, and Galactus sends the Silver Surfer to find the Earth.

The Watcher tries to hide the Earth. In this story, there's no mention of the Watcher.

When the Silver Surfer arrives, Galactus follows immediately, and things unfold in a matter of days. Here, the Silver Surfer arrives ten years before Galactus, leaving the people of the Earth some time to prepare for their end.

Alicia Masters has a talk with the Silver Surfer, convincing him to save the Earth. In this story, the Silver Surfer - although he has plenty of time to talk to people - is not convinced. The Silver Surfer of Life Story seems to be a more devouted follower of Galactus.

The Silver Surfer turns against Galactus, giving time for the Fantastic Four to prepare an attack. This part is missing from Life Story.

Johnny goes to an alien planet to retrieve the ultimate weapon against Galactus, forcing Galactus to leave the Earth. Here, they just attack him with everything they have, until Galactus is defeated.

How does it compare to the other comic books in the series?

Compared to the other Fantastic Four stories, I think this story works fine.

I don't remember reading the Spider-Man: Life Story yet, although now I'm interested in that.

How does it compare to other adaptations of the same story - The origins of the Fantastic Four?

The Fantastic Four, movie (1994): Reed built a spaceship, but due to the tamperings of a criminal, they are missing the cosmic ray shield. The cosmic rays hit their spaceship, making them to crash land. It turns out the cosmic rays gave them special powers. In this story, they simply forgot about a cosmic ray shield, and also, they don't crash land.

Ultimate Fantastic Four #1-3 (2003): Reed built a teleport gate, and the teleport accident caused by the tamperings of Doctor Doom is what gives them superhuman powers.

Fantastic Four, movie (2005): Reed and the others experiment on a space station. When they are researching energy clouds, due to the tamperings of Doctor Doom they are exposed to the space energy, giving them superhuman powers.

Bullet Points (2006-2007): Reed is contracted by the US government to beat the Soviets in the space race - just like in Life Story. However, as the spaceship gets sabotages, they crash land, and the crew dies, except for Reed, who doesn't get superhuman powers.

Fantastic Four, movie (2015): Reed built a teleport gate, and the teleport accident is what gives them superhuman powers.

How does it compare to other adaptations of the same story - The origins of Doctor Doom?

The Fantastic Four, movie (1994): Doctor Doom is just a mad scientist without special powers.

Ultimate Fantastic Four #1-3 (2003): Doctor Doom gets his special powers by the teleport accident caused by his tamperings.

Fantastic Four, movie (2005): Doctor Doom somehow gets special powers.

Fantastic Four, movie (2015): Doctor Doom accompanies Reed through a teleport gate, but he is left there, giving him superhuman powers.

How does it compare to other adaptations of the same story - The Galactus Trilogy?

Fantastic Four #15, TV series (1967); Fantastic Four #5-6, TV series (1994): I haven't seen the animated version of the story.

Marvels #3, graphic novel series (1994): As far as I recall, that story was a straight retelling of the original Fantastic Four issues

Ultimate Galactus Trilogy, graphic novel series (2004-2006): The Silver Surfer was able to replicate himself to create a cult for Galactus. Galactus was a world-eating swarm of robots.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, movie (2007): Doctor Doom offers to join forces with the Silver Surfer. The Silver Surfer rejects him, just like in this story. They manage to defeat the Silver Surfer, unlike in Life Story. The Silver Surfer turns against Galactus, and with his help, they destroy Galactus. In this story, the Silver Surfer was loyal to Galactus until his death.

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Collections

Fantastic Four: Life Story TPB (2022)

Behind the scenes

 

Thoughts about the reviews of others

 

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Fantastic Four: Life Story #1-6, graphic novel series for the Marvel Universe from Marvel Comics (2021-2022) - Graphic novel review by KadmonFantastic Four: Life Story #1-6, graphic novel series for the Marvel Universe from Marvel Comics (2021-2022)
image © Marvel (Disney)

Uses for the comic book - Fantastic Four: Life Story, graphic novel series (2021-2022)

Plot

  • Set on historical fantasy Earth.
  • A scientist creates futuristic technology.
  • A group of people receive superhuman powers due to a science experiment gone wrong.

Scenes

 

Designs

 

Scenarios - Role-playing game

 

Scenarios - Wargame

#1:

Reach the target: One of the forces are doing something illegal. One of the illegals can carry a ranged weapon, and the others can carry small melee weapons. There are guards in the area who treat these illegals as friendlies, and they are reluctant to attack them, but they try to stop them. Deploy the guards anywhere on the playing area. Deploy the illegal team on one of the edges. Put their target area near the opposite edge of the playing area. The guards don't shoot the illegals, unless they shoot first. The guards try to capture all of the illegals. The illegals win if more than half of them reach the target area. The guards win if they capture or kill more than half of the illegal team.

The source of powers: In the middle of the playing area, there's rough terrain / impassable ground, that can be only traversed with special gear, mount or vehicle. The first N (4 would be enough) models that reach the source, receive random powers. The force that secures the source and disables the enemy force, wins. The players choose a table edge to start at, and deploy their models simultaneously. When a model touches the source, roll on the random power table.

Random power (d6): 1: Extra speed, 2: Extra strength, 3: Flying, 4: Higher reach, 5: Extra melee damage, 6: Extra randed damage.

Unknown number of powers (harder for the players): After the first model gets their power, every time an additional model touches the source, roll a d6. On 1-4, it gives the model a power. Otherwise the source is out of powers.

Potentially dangerous powers (harder for the players): When a model receives a power, roll on the Dangerous powers table first.

Dangerous powers (d6): 1-2: Roll on the Random power table normally, 3: Roll twice on the Random power table, 4: The model gets some useless or cosmetic powers that don't change their statistics, 5: The model dies, 6: The model explodes in a 10 cm radius, like a grenade or a fireball.

The great escape: The defending force captured four captives, and put them into separate cells to contain them. These captives, however, unbeknownst to them, have special powers. The defending player sets up the playing area, including a base in the middle, with 4 cells. Then the defending player deploys their guards anywhere on the playing area. The escaping player puts their models into these cells, and rolls on the Random power table above. If any of them got Extra strength, Extra melee damage or Extra ranged damage, they are able to break the doors of their own cells, and they get out. They have to open the cells of the rest of their team in order to escape. The escaping force wins if more than half of their models leave the playing area. The defending force wins if they capture or kill more than half of the escaping force.

Unknown cells (harder for the players): There are more cells than captives, and the escaping player don't put the models inside. When the escaping player rolls a power that allows the model to escape, choose one of the cells, and roll a d6. On 1-3, the model was in the cell, so put the model inside, and treat the door as open. Otherwise, choose another cell, and roll again. When you reach the last cell, you don't have to roll, just put the model inside. When the escaping force is able to open another cell, roll a d6. If it's lower or equal than the models that are still in their cells, there's an occupant. Otherwise, the cell is empty. The escaping player chooses a model to be that occupant, and roll a d6. On 1-3, put that model inside. Otherwise, choose another model, and roll a d6 again. When you reach the last model, you don't have to roll, just put the model inside.

Inside agent: One of the players is able to infiltrate the forces of the other player. Before the beginning of the game, choose one of the models of the enemy player, and write this down. That player is able to reveal this anytime to start to control that model - you can exchange the model with another, retaining the abilities of the original. After this reveal, the original player can enter the exchanged model as a reinforcement on the edge of their starting area.

#2

Total eradication: The defending player has all of their leaders in one place. The defender player deploys the playing area, including a base in the middle, and deploy their models anywhere on the playing area. Then the attacker deploys a small force of intruders, equipped with super powerful weaponry. The attacker wins if they kill more than half othe enemy leaders. The defender wins if they defeat more than half of the attackers, while more than half of their leaders still survive.

#3

Sudden strike: The attacking player has a number of units they send to pre-determined targets. The defender has to stop them before they reach their targets. The defender sets up the playing area, sets up a some numbered targets, and deploys their units. The attacker deploys their units on the edges of the playing area, and writes down what is the target of each of their units. Those units move directly towards their targets. The attacker wins if more than half of the targets are reached by their units. The defender wins if more than half of the enemy units are stopped before reaching their targets.

#4

Destroy the defences: The defending player sets up the playing area, including some defending fortifications - towers, siege engines, automated turrets, hovering drones. Then the defending player deploys their units anywhere on the playing area. The attacker intends to assault the place, but before that, they need to clear the area. The attacker sends some very strong troops (probably equipped with explosives) to deal with the defences. The defender chooses an edge, and the attacker sets up their units on any edges except the edge selected by the defender. The attacker wins if more than half of the defences are destroyed. The defender wins if the attackers are killed, while more than half of the defences are still intact.

#5

Kill the leader: There's a defending army with a strong leader. The attacking player comes up with a plan to kill that leader, but in order to do that, one of their specialist units must be at a specific location, while another specialist unit most be close to the enemy leader. The defending player sets up the playing area, including three potential locations, and deploys the defending units, including their leader. The attacking player chooses one of the locations and writes it down on a paper before the game begins. The defender chooses an edge, and the attacker sets up their units on any edges except the edge selected by the defender. After the attacker unit reaches the chosen location, when the other unit gets in one movement distance from the enemy leader, they are able to kill the enemy leader. The enemy leader cannot leave the playing area during the game. The attacker wins if they kill the enemy leader. The defender wins if they kill more than half of the attacking units, and their leader is still alive.

#6

Defeat the horde: The defender sets up the playing area, including some targets (buildings, shrines, sacred trees), and a base in the middle of the area. The defender deploys their forces. Then the attacker deploys their models on any edge of the playing area. The attackers want to destroy the targets. When an attacker unit is captured or killed, the model can enter on any edge again. If you need to mark the captured or killed model, use a token. Every time an enemy unit is captured or killed, roll 2d6. On a 2, the defenders reveal some secret weakness. The token of the unit needs to be taken to the base, and a defender leader has to take an action with the token in the base to defeat the enemy forces. After that, they die, give up or fall back. The defender wins if they defeat the attackers with more than half of the targets intact. The attacker wins if they destroy more than half of the targets.

Miniatures - 1/50-1/60 (28-32mm scale)

Civilians: Human-sized (S3) modern (advanced) human female / male civilian.

Galactus: Super Giant 6 (S14)Super Giant 7 (S15) futuristic (advanced) human-looking male. Getting a cosplayer to dress up as Galactus probably gives an accurate size for your games. Or you could use a human-sized cardboard cutout.

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Similar stories - Fantastic Four: Life Story, graphic novel series (2021-2022)

Short stories

 

Novels

 

Graphic novels

Spider-Man: Life Story (2019): A retelling of the story of Spider-Man, in a similar style.

Movies

Fantastic Four (2005): In a contemporary setting, a team of scientists get superhuman powers. It shows the origins of the Fantastic Four and Doctor Doom.

Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007): In a contemporary setting, an alien conqueror threatens the Earth, before being defeated. It shows the arrival of Galactus.

Fantastic Four (2015): In a contemporary setting, a team of scientists get superhuman powers. It shows the origins of the Fantastic Four and Doctor Doom.

The Fantastic Four (1994): In a contemporary setting, a team of scientists get superhuman powers. It shows the origins of the Fantastic Four and Doctor Doom.

TV series & episodes

 

Computer games

 

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Frequently asked questions - Fantastic Four: Life Story, graphic novel series (2021-2022)

Is the Fantastic Four: Life Story comic book based on a novel or a movie?

No, Fantastic Four: Life Story is not based on either books or films, but it's based on the previously published Fantastic Four stories.

Is the Fantastic Four: Life Story comic book a remake or reboot?

Yes, the Fantastic Four: Life Story comic book is a retelling of the story of the Fantastic Four.

How many issues is Fantastic Four: Life Story? / How many issues will Fantastic Four: Life Story be?

The Fantastic Four: Life Story is six issues, each issue covering a decade in their lives. So, #1 is the 1960s, #2 is the 1970s, #3 is the 1980s, #4 is the 1990s, #5 is the 2000s, and #6 ends with the 2010s.

Is Fantastic Four: Life Story canon?

The story of Fantastic Four: Life Story is only canon in the Earth-21766 universe.

Is Fantastic Four life story connected to Spider-Man life story?

While both Spider-Man: Life Story (2019) and Fantastic Four: Life Story (2021-2022) shows some similar events, the Spider-Man story is set on Earth-19529, while the Fantastic Four story is set in the Earth-21766 universe.

Where can I read Fantastic Four: Life Story online?

As of 2023.01.13, the individual issues of Fantastic Four: Life Story are available online on Google Play, Kobo, Marvel Unlimited.

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Resources - Fantastic Four: Life Story, graphic novel series (2021-2022)

Official

Marvel Comics: Fantastic Four: Life Story: Official article.

Information

Comicvine: Fantastic Four: Life Story » 6 issues: Database article.

WikiPedia: The Galactus Trilogy: Database article.

Marvel Database: Fantastic Four: Life Story Vol 1: Database article.

TVTropes: Comic Book / Fantastic Four: Life Story: Database article.

Goodreads: Fantastic Four: Life Story: Database article.

League of Comic Geeks: Fantastic Four: Life Story: Database article.

Library Thing: Fantastic Four: Life Story: Database article.

Creation

: Concept art article / video.¤

Reviews with no spoilers - Fantastic Four: Life Story comic book (2021-2022)

: Review article / video about the Fantastic Four: Life Story comic book with no spoilers.¤

Reviews with spoilers - Fantastic Four: Life Story comic book (2021-2022)

Adam (on Goodreads): Adam's Reviews > Fantastic Four: Life Story: Review article of the Fantastic Four: Life Story graphic novel, with spoilers.¤

Analysis - Fantastic Four: Life Story graphic novel (2021-2022)

: Analysis article / video, explaining the finale of Fantastic Four: Life Story.¤

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Buying the product - Fantastic Four: Life Story, graphic novel series (2021-2022)

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Have you read the Fantastic Four: Life Story comic book series for the Marvel Universe from Marvel Comics? How do you like the issues? Would you recommend it to others? Do you know reviews or resources you'd like to add? What further thoughts do you have about it? Tell your opinion in the comments!

 

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